Tag Archives: winter style

Thoughts on the power of style

As London Fashion Week is approaching, style and fashion is the topic of the moment. Many people are excited to celebrate the time of creative expression through design. But many simply ignore it, claim they have no interest in it or use it as an opportunity to judge fashion as pure vanity. Regardless of what each of us thinks of the fashion industry or even LFW itself, I believe something needs to be said in defense of style and individual desire to look beautiful. Here is a note on the power of style in my life…

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On a grey and wet Monday morning a couple of days ago, I was feeling equally grim. As I was rushing out of the door to make my dentist appointment before going to work, I felt overwhelmed by all I needed to do even before properly starting the day. My promise to myself to stay calm, grounded and slow down this week went out of the window when I couldn’t find my travel card as I was already running late.

At that moment I became very aware of how tired I feel of this long winter, wearing the same clothes for the past three month and wearing multiple layers to keep warm, yet still feeling cold. At the beginning of the season I enjoyed winter fashion. I had fun mixing patterns, colours and textures – soft cashmere in different shades, silk with thick wool – to create new sweater-skirt combos, my favourite look this season. But after nearly three months of winter I have worn every possible combination and I am bored. Last week, noticing that I was slipping into a style rut, I promised myself to be better at honouring my desire for style in my life every single day (even when I am tired or uninspired). I finally found some creative solutions working around my busy schedule to have my dresses ironed and high-heeled boots re-heeled – so I could no longer use excuses that being stylish is too time consuming when I have to rush out in the morning.

On that Monday morning I had a choice: to wear flat boots I am so tired of wearing so I walk faster to make it to my appointment on time or to wear my recently re-heeled stylish suede black wedge heeled boots. I was stressed and late but something inside me spoke in favour of a more stylish choice. As I put on the boots admiring myself for a quick second in a mirror, I noticed a coat I hadn’t worn in months and decided to put it on. It went perfectly with my new burgundy hat. I no longer felt bored of my look. This may seem irrelevant: I was running late and there were more urgent and important things to do than throwing together a stylish outfit. But bear with me…

As I walked into my dentist’s office (she ended up being more late than I was), I was immediately showered with compliments: “Look at how stylish she is!”
“Let me see your handbag!”
“What a hat!”
“You look like a model”

The morning wasn’t so grim any more. I gracefully accepted the compliments and walked out without a hint of rush. Walking at a normal pace (as opposed to my typical speed walking) I saw that  several people in the street were noticing me. It didn’t feel inappropriate. I was surprised at how peaceful and empowered I felt, even though I was still running late for work, where a long to-do list was awaiting me, the weather was still wet and cold and my travel card was still missing. But none of this mattered because I felt beautiful both on the inside and the outside, and there was an incredible sense of empowerment from expressing who I am through style. I kept this awareness throughout the day. Choosing to honour my need, my desire for style in my daily life even when there appeared to be no time for it (regardless of how other may judge it) made my day.

What are your thoughts on style? Does it empower you?

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Winter life in colour

Winter is definitely on its way. As days get shorter and shorter, the grayness of the cloud-covered sky merges with darkness of trees and buildings, extra effort is required to stay in a good mood. Very often I find that on a gloomy morning, my mood tends to be a little gloomy too, especially if I have an early start. It does not help that most people are dressed in black and gray, adding to the natural grayness and darkness of the season.

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Of course, there is nothing I can do about the weather or the current season, but I can add more colour to my life during this time to uplift my mood.

There are many ways to add colour. For me this always starts with my outfit. I believe wearing colour not only significantly affects our mood and state but also it influences how we are perceived by others and therefore can influence the quality of our communication and interaction with people around us.

Recently, I have been working with a friend, who has changed her career from a tired corporate employee to entrepreneur . She decided to change her wardrobe, previously made up of black and grey staples, and is no longer scared to add colour to her outfits, sending message to the outside world that she is inspired and confident. Another friend was wondering why people rarely approach her. The answer was her all black outfits (which by the way were draining for her light complexion) were saying: “I am not open to communication”. When I encouraged her to wear a lighter, brighter colour, not only did her mood change, but she could not stop admiring herself in the mirror and got a spark in her eyes, which was impossible not to notice.

Colour can change, enhance, hide, transform. Every morning I start with choosing a main colour or several complimentary or clashing colours for my outfit, depending on my mood, tasks that lie ahead, occasion and how I want to be seen. I highly recommend experimenting with colour in your outfits and observing how it influences your mood and even interactions with others.

Wearing colour can be scary if you are used to wearing neutrals, such as black or gray. Some people complain that finding colour in winter collections is challenging. But as with anything, once you start consciously paying attention to something, you will start noticing it everywhere. All you need is a desire and willingness to experiment. I hope these tips will be a helpful starting point.

1. The most obvious way to add colour to your winter look is to invest in a bright-coloured coat.

red coat

A friend from Spain recently complimented me on my coat in a bold colour and confessed that all her winter coats are dark, reflecting her “winter mood”. No wonder our mood worsens in winter. Not only is there less sunlight, but also we eliminate colour from our wardrobe.

I am a big fan of bright coats and encourage investing in a coat that is not black. We are often told that coat is an investment piece and should be as versatile and long-lasting as possible. I agree that coat is an investment piece, but black is not always the best answer, not to mention it does not suit everyone. My recommendation is to have several options in different colours, one of them neutral, either light grey, brown, navy, beige, camel or black (if it suits you) and another one in a brighter, lighter colour. If you consider that in many countries we wear coats for at least 4-5 months every year, doesn’t it make sense to invest in several different ones?

For example, I have a blue, a red, a purple coat and a coat in a black and white pattern.

There is a fantastic choice of coats in all shapes and colours this season. This is a very helpful feature from Never Underdressed, where the editorial team has selected the best coats online for us. My favourites include (click on an image for further details):

All Saints coat Eudon Choi coat varg coat eudon choi coat toast coast joseph coat zara coat coat

2. Bright accessories

If a coat in a bold colour is not for you or you worry you may get tired or bored of one colour, then think about accessories – scarves, gloves, hats, even belts to wear with your coat. This is the easiest way to add colour and style to your winter outfit and to personalise your winter look.

bright winter accessories

3. Wear coloured denim

The trend for bright coloured denim has been around for a couple of seasons. There is a great choice of jeans in non-traditional colours: electric blue, turquoise, red, purple or orange. Choose the one that works best with your winter sweaters and coats. Or, if you can, wear your summer jeans with warmer tops and scarves. Another alternative is a statement skirt.

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I love turquoise. It reminds me of seaside holidays and instantly improves my mood.

4. Footwear does not have to be black

I’ll admit, most of my winter boots are black, but I am adding new colours too: burgundy, light grey, beige.

My new Bobbies ankle boots in burgundy. Beige ones are lovely too.
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Final words on adding more colour to your life in winter… 

If you are going to wear black, make sure it suits your complextion. If it is too harsh or draning, go for grey (lighter shade), navy, beige or camel, depending on your skin tone.

blue coat
Blue works better on lighter cooler skin tones

Think about your favorite colour and find ways to add more of it to your wardrobe, even if it’s only a small accessory.

There are other ways to enjoy a more colourful life in winter.

Have a coffee or lunch in somewhere where you can enjoy the interior design and colours you like.

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Add different colours to your meal, not only will you get more vitamins this way, but the eating experience will be more enjoyable.

Warm winter salad
Warm winter salad

Buy yourself a bouquet of flowers.

The best way to instantly bring more joy to your day
The best way to instantly bring more joy to your day

Further reading: designer Roksanda Ilincic has great tips on adding colour to your wardrobe.

If you would like to find out what colours work best for your complexion and how to add more colour to your wardrobe, get in touch to book a free discovery session.